Inca Trail Day 3 - Second pass and most diverse vegetation

Inca Trail Day 3 - Second pass and most diverse vegetation

Sat, 06/07/2024 - 10:00
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Campsite above the clouds

Campsite above the clouds

Activity: Inca Trail 5D/4N Alpaca Expeditions

Hike: 10 km 

Day 95

We wake up again at 5 am. We still have to climb our second pass today. And it's a steep staircase all the way up.

Steep staircase

Half way through there is our second Inca ruins. A messenger outpost. We stop there and Alfie explains that there are such round shaped outposts every 50km along the Inca trail. He said that the municipality made a competition: the 45km of the Inca trail from km.82 to Macchu Picchu was run in 3h30 !

Messenger outpost
Messenger outpost

We continued up to the pass. There you could climb another viewpoint to 4,200m and get 360 views of both valleys. The one we left behind was high plateau vegetation and the one we are going to is tropical.

Down the second pass
From the 2nd pass
Down the pass
Down the pass

 

The way down offers gorgeous views and there at we round a corner we see a complete Inca city on a rocky outcrop, it's called Sayacmarca. We have time to visit these ruins with Alfie. He explains that it was an important point where 4 different Inca trails meet. There are still a lot of houses and altars for worship there. We get to wander around and admire the view from there.

Sayacmarca
Sayacmarca
Inside Sayacmarca
Inside Sayacmarca

On the opposite side is another imposing structure with terrasses, those were the food storage of Chaquicocha.

Chaquicocha
Chaquicocha

As we continue down to the bottom of the valley, the vegetation drastically changes. There are now bamboos and moss. The weather is still fair but a few clouds are starting to show.

It's barely 30min of very mild uphill to our lunch spot. It's where the one who do the Inca trail on 4 days sleep. It means they have to walk both pass in one day. While it's certainly possible, I think you miss all the time wandering the ruins and getting to enjoy all the archeological sites fully. We are absolutely not rushed and are all enjoying our relaxed pace tremendously.

The rest of the trek to our camp site is possibly the most beautiful scenery so far. It's hugging the mountain in a narrow path with drastic cliff views. The vegetable changed again to be like a mossy forest. And the moss is a beautiful red color.

cliff edge
cliff edge
inca trail
Red Moss
Red Moss

We had to cross through a rocky tunnel within the cliff. The Inca took advantage of a crevasse and built this section of the trail within the rock. Malcom was hiding in the dark and surprised Laura as she passed. We had such a good laugh.

Crevasse

Our campsite tonight is on the top of a mountain. Below is a massive archeological site that is an astronomy platform that we will visit tomorrow.

Phuyupatamarca
Phuyupatamarca

From the top we watch a marvelous sunset and Alfie even brings us some popcorn from the kitchen. This is perfect. We all enjoy and contemplate.

Pop corn at sunset
Pop corn at sunset

It's a little cold out there tonight but we are all fairly tired. I think it's the most beautiful day so far.

The best campsite
The best campsite